You might be asking yourself – what’s a managed service provider, and what do they want to do with my IT? Managed Service Providers (MSPs) in the tech sector are some of the fastest-growing business types that transfer and outsource day-to-day tech management from business to provider to strategically drive efficiency, lower service costs, and utilize support staff with real-world expertise. MSPs give business owners the ability to focus on revenue-earning operations without having to diagnose, fix, and worry about tech issues that impact business systems. The following points detail why an IT managed service provider makes sense for your small business.
IT labor and staffing is an interesting variable element within small businesses – most business owners either have an in-house “IT Guy” that oversees everything, or attempt to manage their own IT, calling out to a service provider when issues arise. The problem with these models is that first, having a singular IT employee isn’t always the most efficient system of availability when multiple people are having complex tech issues. Secondly, hiring a service provider only when something goes wrong ends up costing you more and more each visit with no foreseeable “fix” in the future – each next invoice has the potential to ruin your IT budget.
Here’s where a competent MSP steps in – everything IT is handled for one predictable, monthly flat fee. Everything – email issues, backups, help desk support, cloud integration, server management, compliance, network support. With this business model, you can easily predict and budget for your IT costs on a month-to-month basis, without the shock of outsourced “per-visit” costs for “temporary” fixes. At the end of the day, this saves you a ton of money – you are bundling all of your core IT functions under one experienced company for a single manageable price, without being subject to unforeseen variable costs.
Maintenance and Upkeep
As a business owner, you don’t want to think about the ins and outs of your IT operations on a daily basis. You don’t have enough time to ponder the reliability and connectivity of your systems – you’re busy working with prospects, orders, projects, sales, assets, inventories, etc. An MSP does this for you – Service Level Agreements (SLAs) provide 24/7/365 coverage on your systems, monitor their performance, install updates when necessary, and watch over any disturbances or potential vulnerabilities. If any issues are detected, they are managed and resolved before they become critical problems. With an MSP handling the operational oversight of your critical business systems, you can focus on running your company smoothly and effectively without tech interruptions.
MSPs also install, oversee, and maintain the very latest in cutting-edge IT equipment – a lingering issue that spurs anxiety for a lot of business owners using different generations of aging hardware. An experienced MSP will have the planning and budgetary resources to debut an array of new technologies with the right features tailored to your business needs, which isn’t always the case with your in-house IT staff. This means that with an MSP, your systems are all on the same page, interacting harmoniously so you’re not stuck diagnosing connectivity and compatibility issues. Leading MSPs constantly upgrade their technologies without any additional cost or risk to their customers – you don’t have to worry that your IT infrastructure will become obsolete year after year.
In the current digital world, there’s myriad of internet-connected devices around us all day – laptops, desktops, tablets, smartphones, wearables, servers, workstations that all transmit and store sensitive information about your business. Chances are you’ve heard about some of the recent high-profile information breaches at Sony Entertainment and Anthem that had dangerous implications for the businesses, as well as millions of Americans that had their private information exposed.
A competent MSP will survey the flow of information in your business, setting up compliance, data protection and backup standards that keep your operation secure from hacks, attacks, and other breaches of information. If your business processes payments digitally, an MSP will ensure proper PCI security standards are upheld, meaning your e-commerce transactions are protected and sensitive information like credit and debit cards numbers stays secure. They will also create encrypted network backups using data centers in different locations meaning your operation doesn’t experience service interruptions thanks to a built-in system of redundancy – your data is safe, but more importantly, recoverable if digital threats come your way.
All in all, Managed Service Providers are the way forward in IT. Take the volatility out of your IT cost structure, remove unexpected service charges, and gain access to a team of professionals with multi-faceted backgrounds and years of tech experience. MSPs will provide a greater level of control over the maintenance and oversight of your devices, networks, and IT functions, meaning you can focus on the critical tasks that make you more money. Lastly, as industry experts in compliance, security, and data protection, MSPs ensure that your data is both protected from attacks as well as backed up so that no one disaster does you in.